Slow broadband is ‘killing businesses’

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A Portarlington businessman has claimed that slow broadband speed is “killing businesses” in the town.

A Portarlington businessman has claimed that slow broadband speed is “killing businesses” in the town.

David Maher, an eCommerce businessman based in Port, said that the slow broadband speed has dissuaded new businesses from moving to the area.

“Eircom has declared Portarlington to be fibre enabled since May 2014 and can now offer 100Mbps to users who are lucky enough to get it. Yet in reality less than half of customers in the town can avail of the service and Eircom in their wisdom have excluded the two official industrial estates in the town - Botley Lane on the Offaly side and Canal Road in Laois - from getting fibre optic,” he said.

“This is simply a disaster in terms of getting businesses to move into Portarlington. Why Eircom have decided that businesses should be excluded from access to high speed broadband is hard to understand.”

The future does not seem to offer much in the way of hope as Eircom’s website indicates that it may not upgrade the rest of the town before the end of 2016. Many businesses are forced to use wireless solutions to get the speeds they need.

“We are in the process of expanding our online eCommerce businesses and we have just moved to our new building eCom Park in Portarlington. We hope to be able to use the new facility to create a technology hub in Portarlington to allow web based business, especially start ups, to get established and thrive. Online is the way of the future and locating in a town like Portarlington gives huge cost advantages,” he said.